A view of Heaven from a seat in Hell

Book I’m reading: “The Survivor’s Club” by Ben Sherwood

In the book, “Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea”, Steve Callahan documents his incredible survival journey where he spent 76 days floating in the Atlantic Ocean. He departed from Rhode Island, lost his solo craft in a storm and drifted on a raft until he was rescued near Guadeloupe.

During his harrowing journey he recalled the most beautiful night sky he had ever seen over the ocean, a view so beautiful he was able to stop and think that he had “a view of Heaven from a seat in Hell.” This powerful statement is a sentiment shared by so many survivors, many of whom, despite the trauma they were facing, were able to stop and appreciate the sights and sounds of the present.

In Lawrence Gonzales’ book, “Deep Survival”, he talks about Juliane Koepcke, who in 1994 plummeted 3km into the Peruvian jungle when her plane was struck by lightning. While falling, she was able to think that the trees looked like brocolli.

In the “The Survivor’s Club”, Ben Sherwood talks about Tim Sears who in 2006 fell off a cruise liner in the Gulf of Mexico and while trying to swim to shore was able to stop and appreciate an incredible sight of green fish jumping all around him as far as the eye could see.

In fact, it is the ability to “be present” that allows survivors to survive. It is our ability to stop and smell the roses, to “be here now” as Lawrence Gonzales would say that allows us to be aware of the opportunities we have that can lead to our rescue.

In life and in business, we need to stop regretting the past, stop worrying about the future and be present so that we can get to where we need to. Let’s start appreciating the view of Heaven from our seat in this difficult world.